Photo of Lee Hsien Loong, Desmond Choo and Teo Ser Luck from Straits Times

Come June 30, Minister of State Teo Ser Luck will work full-time in the private sector, and perform his S$192,000-a-year MP work part-time. Teo Ser Luck has resigned from his mayor position and will also resign from his S$770,000-a-year Minister of State job this June 30. His mayor’s position and he was replaced by another crony of PM Lee Hsien Loong, PAP MP Desmond Choo.

This news follow PAP MP Tin Pei Ling, who earlier last month also announced that she would be doing her MP work part-time.

Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of Community Development Councils (CDCs) mayors yesterday (May 25), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong claimed that his grassroots leaders is a “bridge” between the people and government and they are vital in executing government policies:

“CDCs must continue to be a bridge between residents and the Government. Not just hands and legs on the ground to implement the programmes, but also eyes and ears to identify emerging needs and gaps in the current social and employment assistance systems.”

Singapore’s “grassroots leaders” consist of foreigner permanent residents and citizens where most members join the government network to enjoy incentives like free HDB parking and priority placing in primary schools. The grassroots leaders are also notorious as ardent supporters of the ruling party PAP, and they are often deployed in election campaigning and cheerleaders for the PAP.

The more active grassroots leaders are usually businessmen who engage in open corruption by getting a steady stream of government contracts. Conflict of interests is a form of legalised corruption is widely practiced in Singapore, including the MPs – PAP MP Lee Bee Wah gets construction projects in her own constituency for the company where she is director.

The PM who also sits as the Chairman of the People’s Association (PA) in-charge of the grassroots leaders then trumped up on the effort of the CDCs, claiming they always provide assistance to Singaporeans in times of crisis:

“During the 2008 global financial crisis, Community Development Councils (CDCs) handed out recession relief packages with food and transport vouchers to residents hit by the economic slump… Over the 20 years, they have also responded to other crises. In the 2003 Sars outbreak, they delivered meals to patients quarantined at home.”

PM Lee Hsien Loong then called for Singaporeans to unite and trust his PAP-affiliated grassroots leaders and government:

“We are strong only if our ties are close and people trust one another, despite having different backgrounds, or belonging to different ethnic groups or different faiths. By involving volunteers in these meaningful projects, CDCs can strengthen the gotong royong (community) spirit, and grow and develop your team of active volunteers.”